2020 Season: Week 5 Waiver Wire


(Photo Credit: .sanden.)

Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)

The Lateral Writer

Did someone kill it last week only to be sitting in the free agent pool of your league? Did that sleeper you were so sure about turn out to be the third part of an RBBC, and now you cannot use him as a FLEX? Well, good news! You do not actually have to keep any of the players on your roster!

Okay, so that's not completely true. Sure, in most leagues you can, in fact, drop all the players you drafted and then replace them with new ones, but that would be dumb. What you can do though, is replace underperforming players and replace them with ones that you did not realize were going to have a significant role this season. You could also stream a player based on a match-up, but be careful, as the player you dropped is not necessarily someone you can get back.

Below you will find one player at each position that is available from Malcolm McMillan that is available in 50% or more of all Yahoo leagues and one player from Charles Herrmann at each position that is available in 50% or more of all ESPN leagues. Each name will be accompanied by a brief description of why you should add that player this week.

Week 5 Waiver Wire

Quarterback (QB)

Yahoo: Justin Herbert (16% rostered)

Did you miss out on the Joe Burrow sweepstakes? Well, luckily there's a fairly talented young QB up for grabs in most leagues. Despite a tough match-up against the Tampa Bay defense, Herbert managed to air it out for 3 TDs and a QB7 finish. The Bolts offense looks electric with Herbert under center (pun very much intended), so despite Anthony Lynn refusing to admit his new QB is better than his old one, I am expecting Herbert to remain the QB in Los Angeles. Averaging a pick a game is a bit of a red flag, but given there have been successful fantasy QBs with a higher rate of interceptions, he should be ok as long as his decision making does not get any worse.

ESPN: Teddy Bridgewater (9.8% rostered)

Our feelings on Gardnew Mishew II haven't changed and I'd still pick him here if he's available, but how about Teddy Bridgewater?

He's been inconsistent, but who among us really expected anything insanely productive out of Bridgewater on a rebuilding team? This one is more of a one-week roll of the dice, but the Panthers face the horrific Falcons defense in Week 5. It kind of feels like Bridgewater could be an Alex Smith-type who's worthwhile in a good matchup and while he won't win you a week, he also won't kill you.

Running Back (RB)

Yahoo: Damien Harris (10% rostered)

If you listened to Charles in the Week 4 Waiver Wire, you would have already had Harris ahead of his 100-yard unleashing against Kansas City Monday night. Joshua Kelley is probably my preferred option due to Los Angeles RB Austin Ekeler being out for significant time and the ceiling RB James White creates in the passing game for Harris, but Kelley is not widely available. Still, if Damien Harris can keep getting 17 attempts a game, or even take market share from Rex Burkhead, he could have established himself as the lead back (James White notwithstanding) by the time Sony Michel is off the Injured Reserve List. If the lack of passing work really concerns you though, consider Chase Edmonds as a stash in anticipation of Kenyan Drake's continued decline.

ESPN: Chase Edmonds (25.2% rostered) / D'Ernest Johnson (literally zero)

This one is all about what you feel like you need. Long play here is Edmonds, short play is Johnson. If you're of the mindset that the Cardinals bail on Kenyan Drake at some point and give the workload to Edmonds, I would agree with you. The issue here is we don't know if that will happen, let alone when. Go ahead and take the stab if you have the ability to be patient, but if you need help now, Edmonds ain't it.

You know you could help you though? Former RB of the now defunct Orlando Apollos of the American Alliance of Football D'Ernest Johnson. He was pretty damn good in his time playing in the AAF for whatever the hell that's worth to you, and it's evident the Browns want to use two RBs week-to-week. With Nick Chubb slated to miss significant time, Johnson is a decent shot for flex value despite a pair of tough upcoming matchups (vs IND, @ PIT).

Lastly, I'll just throw in Chargers RB Justin Jackson. If Joshua Kelley's fumbling issues persist he may lose the lead role with Ekeler out for an extended time.

Wide Receiver (WR)

Yahoo: Tee Higgins (33% rostered)

Last week I talked about the speedy Bengals WR on Wednesday in Movers & Shakers... and in Boom/Bust... and again in the Sunday Morning Preview. Suffice to say it was nice to see my faith rewarded as Higgins continued his ascendancy to the WR2 spot in Cincinnati in their win against the JAGs. This will probably be the last week you can get Higgins, but the good news is that if you had A.J. Green on your roster you have an easy drop candidate to create a roster spot for Higgins.

ESPN: Laviska Shenault Jr. (27.3% rostered)

I'm still interested in Alshon Jeffrey here, but I'll offer something up that's new:

He's definitely Malcolm's guy more so than mine, but what we've seen from Shenault Jr. so far has been worthy of a weekly PPR flex candidate. I'm not a fan of being the Jaguars prognosticator given that I've already whiffed on being reactionary and dubbing Keelan Cole Sr. as a good move, but we've got a month of Shenault Jr. being good now.

Tight End (TE)

Yahoo: Mo Alie-Cox (32% rostered)/Drew Sample (3% rostered)

Some are calling him Antonio Gates 2.0. All I know is I wrote about him significantly in last week's Waiver Wire article, so check that out along with most of the other articles from Week 4 to see what I love about the Indianapolis TE. Between the TD upside and Indy QB Philip Rivers' love of the TE, he needs to be rostered.

Drew Sample was one of my Week 3 Waiver Wire picks, and while he had an off week that Sunday against the Eagles, you had your faith rewarded with a decent performance in Week 4 against the JAGs if you were patient and held onto him. Given the existence of Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon, Sample's TD upside is lower than Cox's, but his availability is significantly higher. Plus, the targets have been there two of the three weeks he was heavily involved in the offense, so he is a solid choice if Alie-Cox is not available.

ESPN: Robert Tonyan (7.9% rostered)

I'm not going to insult your intelligence by breaking this one down. I'm still comfortable rolling with my Eric Ebron call from last week here too if the Tonyan hype is much too much for you and you're not a hype-chasing type, but hey, why not hop on if you're feeling frisky? I think Ebron is safer long-term given that Davante Adams should theoretically return after this upcoming week's bye for the Packers, but TE is a weird position. That's a judgement call on your part and I don't think there's a wrong answer given what we know at this very moment in time.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)

Yahoo: Los Angeles Chargers (39% rostered)

The match-up in Week 5 against New Orleans is less than ideal, especially with Michael Thomas' return being a real possibility. However, this is a defense loaded with talent, and despite giving up a ton of points against Tampa Bay, they still managed to get a pick-six, so even in a bad match-up, the talent will give fantasy managers a puncher's chance at some points. Once you get Week 5 though, you have a talented DST that has a run of games against the New York Jets Miami, Jacksonville, and Las Vegas. You may need to drop them come Week 10 for their bye, but given that there is not a whole lot left on waivers, the streaming options are not great for Week 5 anyway. Take the risk on next week and then relax about DST for the following four weeks.

ESPN: Arizona Cardinals (42.3% rostered)

They play the Jets.

Kicker (K)

Yahoo: Randy Bullock (15% rostered)

Randy Bullock, my successful boom pick at kicker for Week 4, has zero games with less than 10 fantasy points. Zero. Closest he came was Week 1 where he missed a field goal to win the game, but he also hit a 50 yarder and a 43 yarder along with an extra point, so depending on your scoring, that is either 9 or 10 points. Either way, that was his worst game of 2020. As long as the offense remains high powered and the defense remains below average, Bullock should get plenty of opportunities to keep up his torrid pace.

ESPN: Pick 'em

I go by Vegas over/under odds and pick a kicker based on the highest expected point totals when possible. As Week 5 odds are incomplete as of the writing of this piece, check in with me again on this in a few days when I make my boom/bust picks. 

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